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A hydra is a monster introduced in SLASH'EM, one of two non-dragons to use the D glyph, the other being the wyvern. True to its source mythos, it has a large number of bite attacks. It cannot, however, grow new heads when attacked with a sword.
These should not pose a problem by the time one encounters them; they are somewhat slow, do only a moderate amount of damage, and have no particular special attacks. They do have a large amount of hit points and a decent AC, though, in addition to resisting stoning.
A hydra is of course a monster from Greek mythology, a large, dragon-like beast that Hercules fought which would grow two new heads for every one chopped off. It may also be a reference to the same monster in Crawl, which also uses the D glyph. It is one of the more notable monsters in Crawl, as it does have the ability to regrow heads, and will do so whenever attacked with an edged weapon.